Australia’s Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell prevented the Croatian duo of Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic from winning back-to-back men’s doubles titles at Wimbledon with a 7-6(5) 6-7(3) 4-6 6-4 7-6(10-2) victory in the final on Saturday.
Ebden and Purcell became the first all-Australian team in 22 years to win the men’s doubles at the All England Club since the famous Woodies – Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde – won their last title.
With almost nothing to separate the pairs in two tight sets settled by tiebreaks, the Croatians gained the upper hand with the first break of serve in the match in the opening game of the third when Purcell double-faulted and they took the set.
The Australians, however, pounced at 5-4 in the fourth, switching tactics and going hard on their returns to fire a series of winners, clinching the set and forcing a decider.
The final marked the first time in Wimbledon doubles history that the match, and the championship, was decided by a 10-point tiebreak and it was the Australians who stepped up to claim victory after an epic four hours and 11 minutes battle.